The typical day in the life of a Freight Broker or Freight Agent, is commonly fast paced, stressful, demanding, and thankless. If you think you can handle that, follow me.
Alarm clock, toothpaste, coffee and it’s 7 a.m. Your cranking up the office, firing all printers, the wireless router, the monitor, the lights… adjust the temperature on the thermostat, and you’re go for voicemail.
While your office comes to life, you take the free time to clean-out and view voicemails. Driver’s have been leaving messages through-out the night notifying you of successful arrival times, major delays, accidents, and other noteworthy information. You organize this information using your desired method and begin working through any potential problems or other unresolved issues not yet uncovered.
You clean off the fax machine, nothing, nothing, nothing, something, nothing and throw it all away. Typically the fax machine is where you find load confirmations, Bill of Ladings (BOL), and other invaluable documents that you need through-out the day.
You’ll likely take this time to open your email agent and make some phone calls. You have quite a few emails to work through this morning, So while waiting for your computer to warm-up and your email client to open, you take a few moments to call any drivers that you may still have out. In most cases, since the industry rises very early, this will be just about all of them. You gather some intel from one driver, and another and so on. You do this now because it is inevitable that if you do not, you will soon be inundated with calls from the shipper or the receiver asking for a delivery ETA or (Estimated time of arrival) or for other pertinent information about either a truck or its cargo.
When finished with this morning business, you begin checking the boards for available cargo or equipment. This dance will carry-on for a short while before you start to field your incoming calls. It’s Joe, one of your new drivers, he’s a owner operator and he’s hoping that you have some available freight to make up for an early cancellation. It just so happens that you have something that came up via email, you give Joe a call with the good news, he agrees to take the load at a desired rate, so you call the shipper to confirm and being the paperwork.
You already have a standing carriers Agreement with Joe’s Transport Company as well as one for the Shipper. You begin by sending the shipper a rate confirmation that he/she will return with a signature. You will need to collect the following information about each delivery location before you will be able to ship:
- Names and addresses of the consignor and consignee
- Pick-up and delivery address
- Dispatch Telephone Number
- Delivery Time
- Total Miles
The carrier will need this information in order to provide an accurate quote or to accept the load.
It seems Joe’s Transport company has agreed to deliver your freight to Orlando Florida 800 miles away for the fee of $1600 flat delivery fee. Considering all circumstances this rate is rather fare, the transportation company is charging you a flat $2.00 per mile transportation for a load that might otherwise go for upwards of $3.00 per mile.
So at this point, you’ve spoke to the shipper who confirmed the availability of the freight, and then to the carrier who confirmed his/her availability to carry the freight. You now know that you will owe your carrier an even $1600.00 for his part in the transaction and of course you deserve your cut which may vary between agencies. A typical broker however charges a base percentage of 10-15% or more or according to current industry going rates.
While in transport, you keep a close ear out for information regarding your live freight to see that everything is going smoothly. It is.
– To be concluded